With the Autumn season in full swing, the National Park Foundation issued its annual list of national parks perfect for fall foliage viewing. This year’s list includes some iconic parks and a few lesser-known treasures. Each national park location, however, offers unique ways in which visitors can view the colorful foliage.  Whether you travel by water, foot, bicycle or car, the dramatic colors of the season are not to be missed.

Click here to check out NPF’s top recommendations for viewing fall foliage this year.

Desert Diversity EFT—Still Time to Register!   Donor Spotlight: Neil & Bettina Ferguson   Exploring Cape Cod National Seashore   Tree Lighting Date Announced!

You are the part-owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites — all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Founded by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to help connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.

Join us — This Is Your Land. www.nationalparks.org

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Desert Diversity EFT—Still Time to Register!

Did you know that a Saguaro cactus, the symbol of the American Southwest and the namesake of Saguaro National Park, can live to be over 150 years old? Fourth through eighth grade students from all across the country will learn about these awesome desert plants and more when they “visit” Saguaro National Park through our latest Electronic Field Trip! Now is your last chance to sign up your students or children to participate in one of our two FREE broadcasts, airing Friday, October 21 at 1pm and 4pm ET. During this exciting journey, kids from all over the country will follow thousands of students doing hands-on science and discovering the biodiversity in the park as part of the BioBlitz program led by the National Park Service and National Geographic.

Even if your children cannot watch in the classroom, they can play, discover and learn about the national parks through fun electronic games they will love! NPF has released five new interactive games, all focused on Saguaro National Park and desert biodiversity. Students can take a hot air balloon ride to see what animals live in the park. Or identify the tracks of animals whose pictures were taken by the park’s wildlife cameras. Kids can even simulate their own BioBlitz as they race against the clock to see how many species they can count and record.

Play these fun new games at www.electronicfieldtrip.org/saguaro and visit www.electronicfieldtrip.org to register today! It’s not too late!

Donor Spotlight: Neil & Bettina Ferguson

The National Park Foundation welcomes Neil & Bettina Ferguson as new members of the Roosevelt Society.  Encouraged by Neil’s cousin and NPF board member, Ellen Malcolm, the couple recently attended the National Park Foundation’s Expedition to Acadia National Park where they were inspired by the beauty of the park and had the opportunity to learn first-hand about the work of the Foundation.

In recent years, the Fergusons have traveled to Bryce Canyon, Zion, Muir Woods and Volcanoes National Park in Hawai’i.  In addition, Neil has rafted through the Grand Canyon twice and is preparing to tackle it again next year so he can share the experience with his family. In July 2012, the Fergusons plan to join NPF again for the Expedition to Katmai National Park in Alaska.

Neil says, “We love the parks because they allow us to experience the beauty of our country, to recharge and get back to the presence of the divine that John Muir wrote so elegantly about.”

To learn more about supporting the work of the National Park Foundation, click here.
Exploring Cape Cod National Seashore

What better way to explore Cape Cod National Seashore than by bike, boat and foot? That’s exactly what a group of 11-14 year olds from the Boys & Girls Club of Boston have spent the past three months doing as they deepen their connection with the park and the recreational and employment opportunities it offers. In September, the park staff hosted these former “First Bloom” participants on a canoe trip and conversation with National Park Ranger, Christine Harris, who came up through the volunteer ranks—starting at age 14! More recently, they took to the bike paths of Cape Cod taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the seashore. Ranger Christine took the group on a detour and provided an unanticipated break at a natural cranberry bog! The students will also participate in an over-night trip in November.

This unique program is a part of the National Park Foundation’s America’s Best Idea Grants, which seeks to connect underserved and under-engaged populations throughout the United States with their national parks in innovative and meaningful ways. To learn more and support programs like this, click here.

National Christmas Tree Lighting Date and Ticket Lottery Announced

The holiday season is almost here, which means NPF and our partners at the National Park Service are gearing up for the 89th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting. On Thursday, December 1 on the Ellipse in President’s Park, the National Christmas Tree Lighting will feature holiday performances by internationally known entertainers, as well as appearances by some very special guests.

Want to come to DC to experience this long-standing holiday tradition? Tickets are free and distributed to the public via an online ticket lottery. You can enter the ticket lottery from 10am ET on Thursday, November 3 until 10am ET on Monday, November 7 at thenationaltree.org.

And if you don’t make it to DC, you can watch live online at thenationaltree.org or catch an airing on your local PBS station. You can find TV schedules and other great information on the National Christmas Tree Lighting at www.thenationaltree.org.

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is the premier sponsor of the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting. Visit www.safetyathome.com to discover tips on holiday decorating safety.



Presidents Unite in Support of Flight 93


The Flight 93 National Memorial has been dedicated but funding is still needed to complete the remarkable vision for the memorial as a place of healing, remembrance and understanding. President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush and House Speaker John Boehner have agreed to work together to raise $10 million in private funding for the memorial.

The trio of national leaders, along with Vice President Joe Biden, were present on September 10 when the memorial was dedicated before thousands of family members and event participants.  President Clinton was the first to express surprise that Flight 93 was not yet fully funded, unlike September 11 memorials in New York and Washington DC. President Bush and Speaker Boehner quickly followed by voicing their support for a bipartisan initiative to seek funding for Flight 93.

To watch President Clinton, President Bush, and Speaker Boehner’s remarks on the importance of building the Flight 93 National Memorial go to www.honorflight93.org.

Please join these leaders in supporting the memorial by making a donation. Between now and the end of the year, your donation will be matched by the National Park Foundation up to $2 million.

Lifestyle Icon B. Smith Hosts Benefit Ball for the African American Experience Fund


African American restaurant owner and lifestyle icon B. Smith is hosting the 1st Annual Masquerade Balla black-tie affair, to benefit the African American Experience Fund(AAEF) of the National Park Foundation. The highly anticipated event will be held at B. Smith’s Restaurant, located in Washington DC’s historic Union Station, on Friday, October 28 at 7pm.
The event will feature personal remarks by B. Smith, on her family ties to African American history and her new role as a spokesperson for AAEF. Guests will also enjoy a signature meal designed exclusively for this special evening, live entertainment, a casino room, as well as a presentation on the work of AAEF.  Proceeds raised will provide funding for AAEF’s Internship Scholarship Grants, a new program in partnership with the National Park Service to increase student internships at AAEF sites and career opportunities for minority students.  
This event is open to the public, but space is limited. To purchase tickets please contact Lydia Sermons, AAEF Executive Director at [email protected] or via phone
202-354-6489 by Tuesday, October 25.

Swamp Stomp, Python Patrols and Swamp Buggies–Oh My!


Think a Swamp Stomp through the Everglades would be a thrill? Want to visit a ‘gator hole up close?  Trap a Burmese python? Meet the board members of South Florida National Park Trust, a friends group—started by the National Park Foundation—that provides financial, volunteer and in-kind support to four South Florida national parks: Everglades, Big Cypress, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas.

Like modern day caped-crusaders, Trust board members are passionate park supporters who ditch their work-week suits in favor of brimmed hats and waders on the weekends.

Meet Ellen Siegel. By day a Certified Financial Planner, on the weekends Ellen leads Trust donors on Swamp Stomps – also called Slough Slogs and Swamp Tromps – to see up close the ‘gator holes, bird and fish life that make the Everglades a world heritage site.  Under the cover of dark Wayne Rassner, a lawyer and amateur herpetologist, is trained to capture (alive!) Burmese pythons, an invasive species in the Everglades, and target of the volunteer Python Patrol. Board members Carlos Arazoza, Patrick White, Howard Isaacson and Wayne Rassner transform into Big Cypress Back Country Volunteers – riding swamp buggies and ATVs, ready to educate and aid visitors in Big Cypress National Park. Carlos also leads night-time kayak trips to explore the night sounds and sky and Rainer Schael organizes the annual Great Flaming Campout, an ever-popular and fun family event.

When not swamp stomping, paddling or piloting a swamp buggy, the Trust is participating in an NPF pilot project focused on building a stronger organization so they can raise even more funds, award grants and promote the national parks to the greater South Florida Community. 

Connect with the South Florida National Parks Trust on Facebook at or visit their website to learn more.

Largest-Ever Worldwide Day of Play Held at President's Park


On September 24 – National Public Land’s Day -- the Ellipse at President’s Park hosted Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play, attracting record crowds to this 8th annual event. 

NPF and the National Park Service partnered with Nickelodeon on the Worldwide Day of Play in DC, which featured fun activity areas from over 50 sports, health and wellness partners, as well as performances and appearances from all of the Nickelodeon's stars. And as a special surprise, First Lady Michelle Obama and professional athletes LeBron James and Dwayne Wade came to have fun on the obstacle course. To see additional photos and video from the day, visit worldwidedayofplay.com.

NPF thanks our friends at The North Face and Oasis Events for donating activities for the national park activity area.

Buy Bag & Support America’s National Parks


J.W. Hulme Co., maker of fine canvas and leather goods since 1905, has developed a National Park Foundation collection of five exclusive items in the Minnesota maker’s signature green canvas.  J.W. Hulme will donate a portion of each purchase from this collection to help support the National Park Foundation.

Comprised of some of J.W. Hulme Co.’s favorites, including the Small Classic Duffle, Overnight Briefcase, Slim Portfolio Briefcase, Medium Zippered Tote, and Log Carrier, the bags in the National Park Foundation collection include a solid brass luggage badge customized with your engraved initials, a specially designed case for your national park entrance pass, and extra D-rings for more functionality.  The National Park Foundation logo is embossed on one side of each bag, as well as on the national park entrance pass case and luggage badge.

“As a century-old company, we have tremendous respect for preserving legacies,” said Jennifer Guarino, President of J.W. Hulme Co.  “Our national parks certainly have a legacy that is worth preserving and are one resource we can’t afford to neglect.  We think our customers will agree that this collection is a great way of showing our support.”

As a special benefit for National Park Foundation supporters, J.W. Hulme Co. is offering a 10% discount on initial purchases to NPF members through December 31, 2011. To take advantage of this offer, use code NPF1211 when placing your order online at www.jwhulmeco.com or by phone at 800-442-8212.

Passport To Your National Parks® Celebrates 25 Years!


How many national parks have you visited? Passport To Your National Parks® makes it easy to learn about and explore all of our national park sites while keeping track of the ones visited.  Since its inception in 1986 by Eastern National, the program has introduced millions of visitors to the full breadth and depth of the National Park System.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Passport To Your National Parks®, NPF and Eastern National have come together to offer the 25th anniversary edition of the Passport book. If you purchase the Passport through the following link, $1 per book will be donated to the National Park Foundation! Click here to learn more and order now.


Make this fall one to remember by exploring your national parks! Download NPF’s FREE guide
Happy Trails: 25 Unforgettable National Park Hikes today!

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This Is Your Land

Next Wednesday, in anticipation of Halloween, “Nathaniel Hawthorne” will read aloud his own chilling tales for visitors at this New England national park?
Submit your answer here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Grant Richter, from Columbia, IL, who knew that in July 1864, President Lincoln stood atop Fort Stevens and came under direct fire of Confederate sharpshooters, the only time in history a sitting U.S. president took direct fire from an enemy army!

Way to go Grant!
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Don't miss out on your chance to win a 4-day trip for four and other great prizes! Enter your favorite national park photos today!

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